Saturday I had the pleasure of being someone’s personal therapist. He first told me he didn't speak English too well. He handed me his cell phone so I could confirm how to arrive at his destination, he gets in:
He: “Man I’m so wasted.”
Me: “You're okay though? You’re doing fine right? Are you okay?”
He: Yeah, uh yeah I’m okay.”
I rolled down some windows. As we headed towards the Brooklyn Bridge he started to unload his story.
He: “I met this other Japanese Girl. But fuck it man, fuck that, if she don’t want me, that’s her problem yo, right? Besides I ain’t got time for this, I gotta be real son.”
His arms were at my right shoulder illustrating his night, and his face was framed in my partition. His voice carried through the open windows, and the cabbie to my right looked at me, we both had a laugh.
I enquired deeper, which didn’t take much prodding, into his predicament.
His boss at the record store had introduced them that night at a party. He was very excited to meet another Japanese girl, as he was also Japanese. But he was feeling that this night hadn't gone so well, he thought maybe he wouldn't see her again. He was really quite emotional, yet at the same time he tried to mask his feelings with Machismo.
He: “I got better things to do, I gotta get on with my life. Though she had you know, she wasn’t just a beautiful girl, she had you know?-“
He: “Yeah! Brains”
Me: “She could think?”
He: “She was a thinking girl.”
Me: “She was smart, yeah?”
He: “I dunno if she’s ever going to see me again, I think I really screwed up. I think she likes the boss more than me. She said she was going to stop by the record store on Sunday, but what if she doesn’t?”
Me: “Does your boss like her too?”
He: “Nah man, he introduced me to her. They know each other, she doesn't know me. I wasn’t respectful, I really screwed up.” He cradled his head in his hands, and then receded into the back seat releasing a breath. Soon he was back at the Plexiglas, New York’s confession booth.
Me: “If she’s a smart girl, she’ll come back, and if she likes the record store she’ll come back.”
He: “Uhh, I hope so.” His voice was trembling.
It was as if she was his entire life, and he felt that he’d thrown it all away. I wondered if the alcohol made him feel so hopelessly romantic, or if he really felt such an attachment to a girl he just met.
Me: “But if she never comes back, you got other weekends and other parties, and one girl shouldn’t be worth worrying so much over. Do you party?”
He: “Nah, not so much. This was a work party… But it is not so important; I have to live my life. I have to move on, I’m 25.”
Me: “Awesome I’m 26!”
He: ”I was born in December.”
It turns out he was born 363 days after me. I told him that us Sagittarians were philosophical; I stole that from JIm Morrison who stole it from somewhere else. It was really cool making somebody feel better and actually relating to them for a change.
And then the next day quite the opposite fare:
A couple I picked up in the Lower East Side (Ludlow Street between Stanton and Rivington Streets) requested 9th Avenue and 30th Street. I found Allen Street from Rivington, and proceeded up 1st Avenue. They were kissing every 2 minutes, but then she would interrupt each time:
“I gotta pee.”
I checked the rearview mirror to check for consensual behavior, and it was apparent to me that both were just drunk and in a state of mind somewhere in between logic and desire.
I was thinking for a long while about which street to take west. Should I take 29th street? Why don’t I just take 31st Street? 9th Avenue goes south and so to get to 9th and 30th would require driving north to go south. I had a brain fart and forgot that 31st Street doesn’t meet up with 1st Avenue. So I had to go up 33rd Street, and I would later take 31st Street to 9th Avenue. It was no issue I figured since they were so busy with each other.
The man took notice that we were at 33rd and 2nd Avenue.
“Hey why are we at 33rd and 2nd? We asked for-" yada yada
I stumbled over my words: “Yeah sorry I should have taken 29th but this complex cuts off 31st.
Problem solved so I thought, but the girl really had to pee. At Broadway and 31st Street the girl repeatedly asks to go to 9th and 30th, my answers each time:
“That’s where I’m going
That’s where I’m going
That’s where I’m going”
Rightfully so this was interpreted as: Shut up bitch and I’ll take you there.
Guy says: “Well you sure are taking the longest way possible.”
Both say: “Yeah we’re only at Broadway, we’re still downtown” Dumb asses.
So I kick them out:
Guy says: “You don’t expect us to pay do you?” the fare was 9.80
Me: “Fine, just get the fuck out.”
I almost crash into the cab next to me, because in my discomfort, I forget to check my blind spot. Just before I was given the cab that morning, the dispatcher told me that he trusted me, and that I need to take it easy with this one. It had 7,445 miles on it, and you could smell the fresh upholstery.
I apologized to the cabbie that almost drove into my side: “My customers are being assholes, I’m sorry.” It was miraculous that he didn’t hit me.
I hope she peed herself walking those four blocks home, and then broke up with him. I may walk by 9th and 30th, and check for the swankiest douche bag apartment building.